Teaching children the value of being of service to others helps them develop habits that will guide them throughout their lives. Through service, children learn to be kind and genuinely care about other people. To help you begin teaching this valuable lesson, here are 4 ways to teach your children about the joy of serving others.
Teach Them to Get Their Hands Dirty
One of the best ways to teach children about selflessly serving others is to get them involved in a service project. Whether the project is at home, church or through a local organization, children can benefit from getting out of their comfort zone and doing community service for strangers. Non-profits like the Sing for Hope Organization are dedicated to bringing access to high-quality arts programming to communities in the New York area. In collaboration with artists of all stripes, they work with under-resourced schools, hospitals and community centers to bring the power of their art to the individuals that need it most. Working with this and similar organizations can be a great way to get your children engaged and excited about helping others.
- Make Charitable Giving a Family Event
Charitable giving is another way to teach your little ones the value of serving others. Once or twice a year, sit down with your children and identify items that they have outgrown or can no longer play with anymore. Allow each child to fill a small bag with toys and clothes that they no longer use. Before they begin filling their bags, explain to them that there are other people that may not be as fortunate as they are. This will help them understand that they are giving away their gently used items for the benefit of other children in need. This activity can help children of all ages understand the significance of selfless giving.
- Encourage Immersive Experiences
In some cases, especially with older children, they may have difficulty fully understanding that not everyone lives the same way they do. Immersive experiences like mission trips, study abroad or foreign exchange opportunities can help them get a better idea of how other cultures live. Not only can this teach them to be more tolerant of other cultures, but can also reinforce the value of serving others.
- Have Honest Conversations with Your Children About Kindness
Every child’s first lessons about kindness to others are learned at home. Their understanding of kindness is developed through daily interactions with their parents. With this in mind, always be mindful of the way you speak to others, especially around your children. Also, be very conscious of the way you respond to your child when you are annoyed or tired. Always remember that you are your child’s model for how to treat other people.
One of the most valuable lessons you can teach your child is how to be of service to other people. Not only can this teach children about kindness, but it can also help our children learn empathy and selflessness. Follow these 4 simple tips and you will be well on your way to raising a child that delights in helping others.